Undergraduate Research in English Literature: Vital Practice

Students in ENGL 310 “Introduction to Literary Studies” share their research at the public symposium, “Who Painted the Lion? Talking Back in/as Literature,” held at the Manhattan Public Library on 2 December 2022.

Every semester the English Department offers multiple sections of English 310, “Introduction to Literary Studies,” a course that welcomes English majors and minors, as well as secondary education majors with an emphasis in English and other interested students into the discipline.

The three fall 2022 sections culminated in a public symposium, “Who Painted the Lion? Talking Back in/as Literature,” held at the Manhattan Public Library on 2 December.


In the form of posters, videos, and three-minute theses, enrolled students shared their research with department members and the general public. We are delighted to share a sampling of this work, which proves the vitality of English Literature as a field.


This poster by Daphne Doll (Secondary Education) shows how Nobel Laureate Czeslaw Milosz’s anthology The Book of Luminous Things explores how poetry teaches us what it means to be human and invites us to think creatively about our place in the world.


Tabitha Ellwood (Music and English, Literature) offers a psychoanalytic analysis of Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God, arguing that Janie’s relationship with Tea Cake does not represent her romantic fulfillment but rather her successful reckoning with mortality.


This video by Wittney Hammeke (English and Journalism Education) explains how Dee/Wangero negotiates her racial identity in Alice Walker’s short story “Everyday Use.”


The recorded three-minute thesis by Chloe Thomas (Philosophy and English) grapples with the difference between silence and deafness as responses to violence and injustice in Ilya Kaminsky’s Deaf Republic.


This poster by Dawson Veitch (English and Mass Communications) unpacks the eternal themes of death and taxes in Anna Deveare Smith’s Let Me Down Easy, a play performed by K-State’s Ebony Theatre Program in September 2022.

Steffi Dippold, Associate Professor, and Wendy Matlock, Professor / instructors for ENGL 310 (Fall 2022)


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